"Thank Goodness, It Was With a Woman, Not a Man"

December 2005

We have been reluctant to comment on the saga of Msgr. Eugene V. Clark, the Rector of St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York. But some of our readers have asked us to.

Msgr. Clark, 79 years old, allegedly has had an affair with his 46-year-old longtime secretary, Laura DeFilippo, a married woman. The details are sordid, and Clark has denied them -- or most of them so far as we can tell. Mrs. DeFilippo's 14-year-old daughter allegedly found her mother sitting on Clark's lap wearing a satin teddy. We haven't heard Clark's explanation of that.

Msgr. Clark has been a hero of ours. He is a determined foe of homosexuality in the priesthood, and he has had a show on the Eternal World Television Network (EWTN) called "Relationships," where he promotes marital fidelity and other good things.

Two days after the news broke, Clark resigned his Rectorship at St. Patrick's, and EWTN put his show on hiatus. William Donohue, no Catholic-basher (indeed, President of the Catholic League), said he feels "personally betrayed." The New York Chancery is investigating, and we don't know at this time what the verdict will be. But it seems that most people think he's guilty. Nevertheless, the refrain we keep hearing is, "Thank goodness, it was with a woman, not a man."

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New Oxford Notes: December 2005

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